Top 25 Most Influential CEOs Impacting Business

Rebecca Mbithi’s key reasons behind the success of Family Bank is the institutions focus on diversification and onboarding of new engagements with strategic partners, growth of the customer base, confidence rebuilding and brand drive which has culminated into the rollout of the bank’s brand campaign in 2020, dubbed ‘Fuzu na Family’.

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Rebecca Mbithi

MD/CEO FAMILY BANK

Get to know Rebecca Mbithi, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Family Bank, the bank with the tagline ‘With you, for life’, to best capture the bank’s positioning as well as express the promise to the customers in the simplest way.

Family Bank is an indigenously owned commercial bank in Kenya with the main purpose of enabling people create and sustain wealth through access to flexible, affordable financial services. It is the only bank with Humility among its core values (it is not about us; it is about our customers).

Rebecca was appointed in mid-2018 and immediately shook the banking industry with her sterling performance. For instance, hardly a year into the job, Family Bank registered an historic and mind-boggling growth in profitability of 300% in the first three quarters of 2019, reflecting a huge jump from similar period in 2018.

The bank’s notable growth in the period was attributed to aggressive deposit taking and on-lending to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), who are Family Bank’s main client base, that was then against the weighted risk of a rate cap environment. Customer deposits grew by a substantive 26 % to KES 60.2 billion as net loans and advances kept pace at 11 % to grow to KES 49.3 Bn.

That was then. Today, only a few years down the line, customer deposits have reached a staggering KES 69.8 Bn, according to the Integrated Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2020.

“Our aggression in deposit taking has been targeted at institutions, county governments, NGO’s, corporate and our main client base, the MSME customers, as we arrive at an optimum deposit mix,” CEO Rebecca Mbithi says.

Currently, Family Bank’s net interest income has risen by double digits. According to the 2020 Report, the bank’s profit before tax (PBT) for the group for the full year 2020 stood at KES 1.440 Bn against KES 1.422 Bn in 2019, representing a 1.3% growth, demonstrating the bank’s resilience amidst a challenging operating environment caused by the adverse economic and social effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Isuzu EA MD Rita Kavashe (centre) and Family Bank CEO Rebecca Mbithi (right) pose for a photo after the signing of an asset financing agreement that will see SMEs get upto 95 pc financing on Isuzu trucks and pickups. With every vehicle purchase, SMEs will also obtain two AMREF Maisha Covers in case of emergency evacuation services.

Profit after tax for the full year under review was at KES 1.2 Bn, 22.4 % earnings in growth compared to the same period in 2019. In the same year 2020, Rebecca Mbithi led Family Bank to grow the loan book to KES 56.6 Bn, a 11.8% growth from 2019. This phenomenal growth was across sectors including manufacturing, agribusiness, trade, logistics and technology.

While some sectors were favoured by the COVID-19 Pandemic, Family Bank customers in hospitality, transport among others, have been heavily hit and as such, loan loss provision expense has been increased significantly by KES 1 Bn from KES 1.28 Bn in 2019 to KES 2.23 Bn in 2020, to shove the most hard-hit customers.

In the same year, total assets grew by 14.9% from KES 78.9 Bn in 2019 to KES 90.7 Bn as at 31 December 2020, while investments in government securities hit a record 72.6% growth from KES 9.8 Bn in 2019 to KES 17 Bn in 2020.

Investments in innovation and digitization continue to strengthen the bank’s balance sheet by weeding off costs to see operating expenses increase by a paltry 7.3% from KES 5.3 Bn to KES 5.6 Bn at the end of 2020.

Rebecca states that the adoption of digital channels has seen more than 70 % of pivotal transactions conducted online including requesting for loan advances, through the mobile application, PesaPap that was launched in January 2018 and other digital payment platforms including internet banking.

She adds that, ‘As a business, Family Bank continue to drive its strategy pegged on innovative channels and solutions that ease access to finance and capital that is critical in driving the growth of the Micro, Small and Medium-sized businesses, fuelling personal growth and that of the public sector’.

Rebecca Mbithi adds that the success of Family Bank is facilitated through the over 1,000 of human resource, 95% of whom are below 40 years of age. The CEO takes pride in hiring experienced individuals with unmatched capabilities and further trains and develops them to enable Family Bank meet the customers’ needs and fulfilment.

Family Bank Ltd CEO Rebecca Mbithi receives marathon permit from Athletics Kenya Chairman Gen J.K Tuwei (Rtd) and Athletics Kenya CEO Susan Kamau during the launch of Family Group Eldoret Half Marathon The Family Group Foundation

The enhanced efficiency has seen the lender improve on its asset quality in the slashing of its net non-performing loans portfolio significantly.

Family Bank under Rebecca Mbithi, continue to maintain healthy positioning on its capital ratios above the minimum regulatory requirement. Liquidity stood at 37.1%, significantly above the minimum requirement of 20%, with the core capital ratio closing at 14.3% against the statutory minimum of 10.5%. The total capital ratio stood at 16.9% above the requirement of 14.5% as at the end of December 2020.

Rebecca Mbithi’s key reasons behind the success of Family Bank is the institutions focus on diversification and onboarding of new engagements with strategic partners, growth of the customer base, confidence rebuilding and brand drive which has culminated into the rollout of the bank’s brand campaign in 2020, dubbed ‘Fuzu na Family’. Fuzu na Family is the theme of the 2020 Integrated Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2020.

Rebecca Mbithi holds an MBA degree with a concentration in strategic management from the USIU-A and an LL. B degree from the University of Nairobi (UoN). She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya, a Certified Secretary and a Member of the Institute of Certified Secretaries, an advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a member of the Law Society of Kenya. In addition, Rebecca Mbithi is a Certified Executive Coach.

Rebecca joined Family Bank in January 2015, taking on the role of Company Secretary and Director, Legal Services. After acting on the job, Rebecca was appointed CEO of Family Bank in February 2019. She boasts of vast domain expertise and knowledge in law, project finance, corporate restructuring, equity/debt raising and governance.

Rebecca has also served in the Corporate Governance and Standards Committee of the Institute of Certified Secretaries.

With the genial Rebecca Mbithi firmly in the saddle as CEO, you can always bank on family’! She is 2022 BUSINESS MONTHLY EAST AFRICA TOP 25 MOST INFLUENTIAL CEO IMPACTING BUSINESS.

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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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